Although he never got an opportunity to watch the legendary Cedric ‘Sugar Ray’ Xulu in action, former Bafana Bafana defender Edward Motale has revealed a private conversation he had with the late footballer that has inspired him.
Motale, who began his professional career in 1992, nine years after Xulu retired, says the late AmaZulu stalwart shared some words of wisdom on what made him reach higher standards and play for a longer time.
Xulu passed away on Monday after a battle with cancer.
“Firstly condolences to the Xulu family and friends,” conveyed Motale.
“I did not get an opportunity to watch him play because I was young when he retired but I was fortunate when they launched his Stadium (Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium) I was there, we shook hands and had a conversation about his history.
“During our conversation he emphasized a lot on discipline and dedication and he said the reason he played for such a long time was because of those two things,” he said.
“Some of us are good listeners you see so when people talk we take them serious and implement their advices so maybe I will break his record and I’ll go (die) at the age of 96,” added the former Orlando Pirates defender.
“So I think we are losing a lot of discipline these days because our players are given big salaries but behind those salaries there is no advice on how to manage that money in terms of saving and investing.
“We all know that every Sunday when we open a newspaper there would be a story about a certain player who didn’t pay maintenance or was arrested for drink and driving, all those things so Ntate Xulu was touching on those issues,” added Motale.
The family is yet to release the details of the memorial service as well as the funeral service of the late footballer who died aged 80.
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By Ofhani Munyai